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This Week In Avalanche Hockey - Jan. 7

by Brendan McNicholas / Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche snapped a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory in Nashville on Tuesday night. The Avs return home to host Chicago on Thursday and Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon. Colorado has dropped two straight on home ice but is still 7-3 in its last 10 at Pepsi Center.

A limited number of tickets for Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh remain, so don’t miss your chance to see Sidney Crosby and NHL scoring leader Evgeni Malkin in their only visit to Pepsi Center this season.

Date Opponent Time (MT) TV/Radio
Thur, Jan. 8 CHICAGO 7:00 p.m. Altitude / AM 1510
Sat, Jan. 10 PITTSBURGH 1:00 p.m. Altitude / AM 1510
Tues, Jan. 13 at Columbus 5:00 p.m. Altitude 2 / 101.5 FM
Thur, Jan. 15 at St. Louis 6:30 p.m. Altitude / AM 1510

Avalanche forward Milan Hejduk has been named to the Western Conference roster for the 2009 NHL All-Star Game, the league announced yesterday. Hejduk will make his third career All-Star appearance when the 57th NHL All-Star Game is played on Sunday, January 25, at the Bell Centre in Montreal (4:00 p.m. MT, VERSUS).

Hejduk is the Avalanche’s leading goal-scorer this season with 13 and ranks second in points with 29 (13g/16a). He is tied for first on the club in game-winning goals (2), ranks second in shots (102) and is third in power-play goals (5). The right winger has appeared in all 40 games for the Avalanche this season and owns a streak of 111 consecutive games, the longest active streak on the team.

Hejduk, 32, appeared in the 2000 All-Star Game in Toronto, tallying one assist, and competed in the 2001 All-Star Game on his home ice at Pepsi Center, scoring one goal.

Click here for the full release, as well as reaction from Hejduk and some of his teammates following today’s announcement.



Lake Erie Monsters defenseman Kyle Cumiskey was named to the Canadian AHL All-Star team roster for the 2009 AHL All-Star Classic. Cumiskey, who was recalled by the Avalanche for the third time this season on Jan. 5, ranks second on the Monsters in scoring with 16 points (4g/12a) in 26 games. He leads all Lake Erie defensemen in goals, assists and points.

The 2009 AHL All-Star Classic will be held Jan. 25-26 in Worcester, Mass. Click here for the full All-Star Game rosters

Andrew Raycroft won his fifth consecutive start on Tuesday, stopping 22 shots in a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators. Rayzor's five-game winning streak is his longest since Jan. 27-Feb. 6, 2007, when he also won five-in-a-row. In fact, he is now just one shy of matching his career long winning streak of six games done twice before (last: Oct. 30-Nov. 20, 2006).

Raycroft improved to 7-1 in eight starts this year, becoming just the second goaltender in franchise history to open a season by winning seven of his first eight decisions. Stephane Fiset began the 1994-95 campaign 10-1-0 for the Quebec Nordiques. Raycroft is also just the second netminder to win seven of his first eight career decisions as a member of the Avalanche/Nordiques. Dan Bouchard began his Nordiques career 11-1-0 after being acquired from Calgary halfway through the 1980-81 season.


Colorado Avalanche prospect Kevin Shattenkirk finished with nine points (1g/8a) in six games at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ottawa, tying him for first among all tournament defensemen. Shattenkirk, Colorado’s first-round pick (14th overall) in the 2007 Entry Draft, also led all backliners with eight assists.  His nine points tied Colin Wilson for third on Team USA, trailing Jordan Schroeder (11) and James van Riemsdyk (10).

Read more about Shattenkirk and the rest of the Avalanche’s prospects in this week’s farm report.

Colorado is 14-0-0 when leading after two periods this season. As of Wednesday, the Avalanche and Ducks (14-0-0) were the only two teams to win every game when leading after 40 minutes. Colorado has actually won its last 22 games when carrying a lead into the third period, the longest active streak in the league.

“He showed today that he wants to be at that position and play with those guys. The first game I thought he was very good too but tonight he basically won the game for us along with Andrew Raycroft. When you have a slow start like that and are looking for somebody to make a play, he made a play to keep us in the game. He was outstanding. And you have to remember when you already have two centers in the lineup you don’t need a third guy, you’ve already got two centers that will take a ton of minutes. So we didn’t want to or there wasn’t enough opportunity in the organization until we started to come up with all these injuries and obviously he’s comfortable in that position – it’s two games into it and both went very well.”

- Avalanche head coach Tony Granato on Wojtek Wolski’s second game at center, a two-goal performance at Nashville on Tuesday.

The Avalanche ended Columbus netminder Steve Mason’s shutout streak at 199 minutes, 19 seconds with a goal by Darcy Tucker on Jan. 2.  Mason’s streak was the second-longest stretch in the NHL this season behind Roberto Luongo’s run of 242:36 from Nov. 2-12. The Avs also ended that streak, with Marek Svatos’ goal beating Luongo in the second period on Nov. 12 at General Motors Place.

Avalanche TV recently caught up with Colorado defenseman Jordan Leopold, who answered questions ranging from his preferred vacation destination to his favorite childhood toy
in the latest edition of "60 Seconds”

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